USAF Taps Aerojet Rocketdyne, Orbital ATK, Northrop for Engine Tech Research Services

MUOS-4 satellite launchAerojet Rocketdyne, Orbital ATK and Northrop Grumman have received contracts worth a combined $14.5 million to help the U.S. Air Force explore new methods for production of rocket engine technology, Space News reported Monday.

Mike Gruss writes the Air Force on Wednesday awarded $6 million to Aerojet Rocketdyne, $5.4 million to Northrop and $3.1 million to Orbital ATK as part of efforts to build a U.S. counterpart to Russian RD-180 engine that Air Force uses for national security satellite launches.

To date, the military branch has issued seven contracts worth almost $17 million for the engine research initiative, which Space News estimates has a ceiling value of up to $35 million.

The project’s initial objective is to reduce propulsion technology development costs through the use of additive manufacturing methods and new materials, Gruss reports.

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